Learn from the Masters of Fashion
Beginning stuff is always really hard we talked about a lot of resource is, I think, it's really important for a designer to have, ah, appreciation and understanding of the history of fashion, but a lot of a lot of times that can feel very dry, because when we think about history, it could be a little flat for us if we can't relate to it. So we need to come up with a strategy is to make it relatable and to make it relevant to where we're going with our are designing. So for the history of costume, I mean, you have costume, we're going to talk about sort of tapping these ancient resource is that might not feel relevant, but how to approach looking at them, and then for the history of cartoon, who tour part one, we're going to talk about having historical reference is kind of like the movie pitch, you know what we're talking about pop culture, but having referent historical references is really helpful, and it also just makes you sound like a real fashion designer, so that's, having that...
language and those reference points is really great. All right, so I have a great quote here from alexander mcqueen, I think there is beauty in everything what normal people would perceive is ugly, I can usually see something of beauty in it, so I don't think the images we're going to see next are ugly but I think they may not be images that we can immediately relate to so we're going to talk about sort of ancient representations of fashion so I'm going to zip through these but I would love to kind of get some feedback in terms of what's the first thing that stands out about this to you not necessarily historical context but of those elements of the mood board that we talked about what might be the first thing that we relate to anybody headpiece yeah and do you see it as an actual head piece or do you just like the texture of it or the shape of it well I was at first I saw thing going up but then I saw the like the bird I think kind of going down and I like that like that could totally be interpreted and other ways like her with the feathers yeah definitely that's okay so let's go to the next one and here we have medieval what anybody else see something here that they respond to well there's a sort of severity of color and contrast and seriousness to me icy and one of the things that might point out here too is that the mosaic aspect of it is really is kind of one of things that I one of the reasons I chose the image because thinking of almost pixelated a design you know, you could think of it as beads. You could think of it as a print, you know, breaking it down into not just what the overall image is, but how did they put it together? Okay, so when's, the next one, ancient greece and ancient rome? Anybody? I think, yeah, I would agree that draping is definitely what stands out, and I was actually kind of surprised by the illustration on the right because of the color, you know, like I normally think of, you know, sort of that draping that toga feel is just always white. Um but bringing in color into that can kind of put a whole new slant on it, and also remembering to go to other cultures, to think in terms of, you know, what was happening in ancient japan in ancient china, anybody hear anything stand out for you for me again, it's the it's, the the draping, the flow of the fabric of the fine fabric. And it has a whole different feel from the draping we saw in the greco roman images that makes me think because I see them painting their own fabric, it also makes me think of cause I've had enough anybody else has had their own fabric made, but it's amazing, and it just makes me think of that like I love finding beautiful artwork and then having that made into something, and then, like, I actually have artists like drawing stuff out and then having that made to something that's a really great point because that's a whole world, we're talking about finding inspiration, but a lot of times we can create the artwork that is inspiring. Ralph rucci, an incredible designer onda painter. He does these incredible paintings that then turn into the print on a fabric, and they it makes them even the most. The simplest silhouette, so original and unique to his design process. Like the pattern and color mixing, too. Like there's. A lot of, uh, yeah, there's. Just a lot of different patterns going on one. And it seems kind of soft and gentle. Yeah, jarring. But there is a lot of texture. That texture of pattern. All right, so here we move into the renaissance in the sixteen hundreds. Things jumping out the rock. That is something to worry around your neck. And how how we make that relevant today like this, we're not necessary. Gonna walk around with that rough. But what can we pull away from that? That might be a cool detail. Well, if you downsize it considerably, um, I would think something like that would be really nice and address that's very plane a real simple because she has going on everywhere yeah but if you had a little black dress and it just had this little rough yes that would be great and also thinking about different places to put that rock so for instance to think of a simple black dress and having the rough just around you know, around the wrist you know that whole idea of their rough and what about from the renaissance anything? Well, you really look at his face and clearly the artist put this together in a way that makes us look at the face rather than necessarily noticing all the details of the garment and I think that's an important part of what it means to play into the look that you're creating you know that look for the model there is to me that just says velvet the richness this's a very healthy color all right? And this I love because it's like they were making fun of fashion in this picture which I love from the seventeen hundreds because they're the fashion is is on the left you know, this is the style of the day and they're asking does it relate to different body types? You know, it was like does this fashion really really work? All right, so I thought it's kind of funny that so what what do we see here that mike and bonner fund from an inspirational point of view actually may I'm actually I'm having drag queens dude in my show like that like you like men like amazing enclosed speak speak I love it ok like say I know a guy that looks better than me and I I well I mean that could be a fun thing to pull out of this you know putting putting different type body types or different genders in clothing so mixing it up to see things in a different way um and here we have eighteen hundreds so anything here besides of course it would say just the level of very soft romanticism the draping of the skirt and the soft color palette used it looks really nice stuff away so here the wisemen doesn't give the right answers he poses the right questions and that's very important moving forward here and this is just a portrait of charles frederick worth who is considered the father of contemporary fashion and this was about made eighteen fifties I just like to put him in there because he's kind of the start of it all at least from a contemporary standpoint and these kind of wrap up that the end of that period so the eighteen hundreds and it brings us to the course it and we have ah one example of a course it right here and um I have a kind of a key question for you ladies in the room and that is um why is the corset still ah popular fashion item we his story history shows that we spent so much time trying to get women out of course it's right or women wanted to get out of course it's so why are we going back to courses and have to start with you because you make them so what do you why do women want your courses? Of course it should not be uncomfortable that's the thing everybody thinks it's so uncomfortable but if it's made properly it actually feels really nice like when I cinch the girls up that have never worn them before they're just like oh this is nice it's almost like being hugged like that it gives you the most beautiful shape and you can shape it any way you want you can give yourself a conical shape our glass pipes um anyway one yeah and I think that's key to you know perspective because we do have this historical idea about course it's being uncomfortable and synching and they they were the original ones I'm sure but you know but but I think today they can be interpreted for modern audience which would be really great. So it's because today it's a choice back then it was not a choice that's a good point and and one of the things that that I speak to when um I talk about corsets and undergarments is that throughout history we've always had undergarments that completely changed the shape of our body you know, back then it was the course it but today it's it's two things I tell my students it's spanx and it's the gym so either we actually recreate our bodies with the gym or we use you know, some helpful devices so oh, and what could anyone think of another item we might sacrifice a little comfort for because it looks good she I knew that was gonna be the answer definitely. And again that's something that is not about necessarily practicality is because it changes a silhouette and it changes the shape of your leg and things like that. So just something to consider s o we're wrapping up the eighteen hundreds and, um a couple more questions about what fashion khun do because in these periods these things were happening. So what kind of fashion is liberating women today? Like what makes you feel like ra stretch fabric? Yes, well, the key there is knitwear way use nit we're so used to knitwear and wait where is most closed before we're all about structure, you know, having these faded garments and now we can have fitted garments that give us a little ease and then we talked a little bit about this with the gender what role does gender play in fashion and at this inn this at this point you want to think about what fash what women's fashion might pull from men's fashion or from other things because I think the flow goes in one direction a little heavier so I think women are much more sort of open to adopting men's details I don't think it goes back the other way as much, you know, maybe a little bit with color, but when it comes to fashion, I think we can pull a lot of different things, including gender into the equation. All right, so here we're looking at history from a completely different perspective and instead of asking what item do you see? You know what detail you see, you can still definitely do this with early fashion, but this is the first time it starts to get sort of contemporary and modern, and one of the keys to remember, especially in the twenties, is why this was so exciting and the whole idea of the flapper and bright young things and does anyone know why it was so you know, that that period in history was so vibrant changes in social mores and and the loss of so much so many young people, it made life really vibrant and exciting, and we have this great quote from elsa schiaparelli in difficult times fashion is always outrageous, so pushing the envelope so thinking about that in terms of the times we're living in, you know, do we want a little comfort? Do we want a little excess like how do people feel in a given time are things that you can pull into your ideas for a collection it was going to go through a couple more and it kind of brings us into the one of the things about the twenties was the it girl sort of louise brooks so does anybody have any it girls that inspire them today like women that that are out in the public eye who inspire you from fashion perspective beyond any other? Actually, yeah, I think um interestingly enough, it's a lot of celebrities who aren't necessary like in the fashion seen but like rhianna was always doing like very bold kind of outrageous fashion choices and thinking outside the box. Yes, I'm thinking about, uh movie stars in particular um thinking about how they might work with the stylist to make those bold statements to get notice because everyone's you know, vying for screen time so a lot of times you can you can find an it girl that you follow and again this is another thing that you can follow in social media so that you can keep up on what's happened what's happening with that evolving look and then also because we talked about the twenties with the pretty young things are broke right young things thinking about who the party people what's the sense of you know how people celebrate you know, like what environment is that? You know when when I was a teenager you know, working in fashion it was all about disco and yet there was a whole other component in our classrooms where students were so anti disco and it was all about hard rock so both those elements are happening at the same time so you know, find out who kind of you're connecting with in terms of celebrating and the reason for dressing up because that could be a great resource is well, uh we pull through to the thirties and the thirties I picked this image because we have jean harlow movie star of the era and the key to this period is that fashion when it's collected about the thirties it's always really glamorous and shiny and glossy and flowy truth of the matter is was the great depression right? So we have to realize that this becomes the go to it becomes the fantasy a lot of times fashion could be used for that. So uh how does fashion allow you to escape? So what kind of things make you feel like you khun b other than you know, I always think of cause play you know, when you dress up in costumes you know tio kind of get away from life and play and I just love the term analogy costume play we're just by the virtue of dressing up, you could be someone else. Ah, we work into the forties and here to contrast the examples during the war utility where and then we have after the war again, sort of an explosion of fabric and color where we get to feel free and we want to kind of sort of pushback against the austerity. So with these two, we want to think about what are some of today's fashion uniforms? What are our go twos? You know, for me, I have it's kind of dozens and dozens of versions of my work shirt, my jeans and my sneakers because it's my go to where I feel comfortable so you would ask yourself maybe not just for yourself, but your customer what are their go twos and then why do you push the envelope fashion wise? I think oh, sorry. When do you pushed the envelope? Passion was curious. When do you you guys feel like you kind of have permission to dress up and push push the envelope a little bit? Any particular instances I do specialize in costuming and cosplay so cool all the time mostly it conventions, but yeah, well, you know, I mean that's a great example conventions, you know, you have this platform where you can go play so that's a great example any others? So when I were good clients I like to be pretty much invisible because I feel like it's important for them to be the center of attention so I wear a lot of black and just try to kind of disappear though you know, sometimes I'm more successful than others, so just black head to toe uh not much accessories and just stepping back and I mean, that was kind of like the old atelier is where everyone were a smoke you know didn't matter what you're wearing is was all about the client and the clothes, so all right, so now we're just going to go into sort of more contemporary and here you want to look for symbols of the era so and we'll also talk about sort of subcultures adopting rebel cultures uh fifties and sixties real sense of propriety in the fifties more about youth culture in the sixties. Here we have the seventies definitely a lot of strong prince and this picture you know, doesn't tell the whole story but color as well and other things about this that are kind of interesting, especially with the woman on the left is the influence of men's where a lot of unisex happening at that time and then this sort of harder edge in the eighties this is definitely maur the rocker rather than the disco and then the nineties are a time where we start to see a real mix because we have fashion icons like princess diana but then we have grunge we're home of grunge s o the starting of that where it was pushed back against that and then the last one here on the right is just this collage you know, it's kind of collage dressing where things that you normally wouldn't put together you put together and make your own statement and again have fun and play with it so uh after we see that from sort of a contemporary standpoint let's talk about today so who might be some of your favorite designers fashion karl lagerfeld ok, any particular line that he designed he designed a lot of them he does a lot of different things I really like the chloe ville the more youthful things but I think he just nails everything just everything he does is perfect I'm sure he'd be glad to hear that uh uh mcqueen yes, I think so to me just about everything is a work of art yes and I really, really admire that I don't know if anybody would really know about my intern hurt is from retro foley history she is a corsetry she takes her own patterns every time and takes like art like from from history and stuff and makes it into the most amazing things I've ever seen history course it's a retro foley who she's she's amazing and that's really nice, because that's so sous if industry specific and it's very because they don't always have to be a a big name designer, it could be someone who is working in your city or working in a specialization and that person you just have an affinity for and you want to ask yourself, where did you find them? You know, is this because I haven't found your resource? But now that I know I can look something up. So you want to think about that process of discovering these designers if you haven't found your your idols yet, and then you all spoke a little bit about what? Why do they speak tio? What about them? Sort of serve queen evidence of art? J wanted to jump in and share some from the folks at home stds, farhana says tracy reese, her plenty line and anna sweet, so sweet, sweet and fashion time says I always love betsey johnson. Betsey johnson is a perennial favorite. You gotta give her credit for those cart wheels at the end of the show. Love and out, one more coming in from candy jay, thanks for joining us in the chat rooms alexander mcqueen, alexander wang and jeremy scott all brilliant designers. So there's, there's and there's so much to choose from and you can also have a really unusual mix of things that designers that speak to for me when people asked me who my favorite designers are, I always kind of good have a mix of historic, you know, designers that are more from the history of fashion and more contemporary and but they really speak to each other, like mixing someone like madeleine bonet who is all about the bias cut and, you know, from the twenties and thirties, and then we go to someone like me, aki, who does similarly innovative things with fabric and movement and flow so you can have a real mix of designers you don't have to stay in one, you know, one little realm and and then also asking yourself on a regular basis because we all tend to do it is what era is a fashion? Do you romanticize? I have in my classes, I'm you know, for the past five years or so I've been seeing so much from the eighties or even the seventies, and the funny part is that it's all an interpretation, the actual bell bottoms we're huge, you know, like most people would not actually wear them today, but we call them bell bottoms and their variation there an update, so and it also speaks to the fact that nowadays we can romanticize a lot of different periods and mix it up. There's no, one way to look today, you can have a whole range, and our next segment is about subcultures. And I love this quote because bill cunningham is a photographer for the new york times, and he could not be the sweetest, gentlest person and he's like in his eighties, and he just if you ever see the documentary bill cunningham, new york it's it's, just such a treat, but he speaks to fashion is the armor to survive the reality of everyday life. Now we can consider that, you know, kind of our uniforms and things like that, but they're also people who will take it a step further and sort of have a sort of sense of rebellion. And here we have some examples of that from your recent history, we have sort of the punk rock skateboard culture gone, we have the leaders, and again there so many variations e really invite everyone to explore this because they're going to be elements from all of these that you can relate to and sort of see how you can either stay in that culture, you know, like speak to that culture, and you're designing or kind of incorporated and bring it and deliver it in a different way to a new audience.